But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. All rights reserved. . he fell asleep--never said of the death of Christ. Let us not be discouraged at the slowness of the fulfilling of God's promises. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and another, of better mould, that the scene lay in one of the courts of the temple" [ALFORD]. 40, &c, Acts 7:40 superstitiously honoured the temple, ver. Though the sin was very great, yet if they would lay it to their hearts, God would not lay it to their charge. 38. in the church--the collective body of God's chosen people; hence used to denote the whole body of the faithful under the Gospel, or particular sections of them. Proud member To whom our fathers would not obey, &c.--Here he shows that the deepest dishonor done to Moses came from the nation that now professed the greatest jealousy for his honor. And that deliverance was typical of what Christ did, when, for us men, and for our salvation, he came down from heaven. Stephen died as much in a hurry as ever any man did, yet, when he died, the words used are, he fell asleep; he applied himself to his dying work with as much composure as if he had been going to sleep. . All the 12 patriarchs died far from the land of promise. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so. Abraham is dead, yet God is still his God, therefore Abraham is still alive. 35-41. 20-22. Therefore he broke off, and by the Spirit of wisdom, courage, and power, sharply rebuked his persecutors. Men deceive themselves, if they think God cannot do what he sees to be good any where; he can bring his people into a wilderness, and there speak comfortably to them. But Israel thrust Moses from them, and would have returned to their bondage; so men in general will not obey Jesus, because they love this present evil world, and rejoice in their own works and devices. And did he thus protect the child Moses? Bible > Bible Commentary; John Darby’s Synopsis; Acts; Acts 7; John Darby’s Synopsis << Acts 6 | Acts 7 | Acts 8 >> (Read all of Acts 7) Stephen, as far as we are told, had not known the Lord during His life on earth. In this long defense Stephen takes a much wider range, and goes less directly into the point raised by his accusers, than we should have expected. He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. There is that in our sinful hearts, which always resists the Holy Ghost, a flesh that lusts against the Spirit, and wars against his motions; but in the hearts of God's elect, when the fulness of time comes, this resistance is overcome. Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. It is well to recur to the first rise of usages, or sentiments, which have been perverted. and stoned--"proceeded to stone" him. In Acts 7:23 Acts 7:30 Acts 7:36 , the life of Moses is represented as embracing three periods, of forty years each; the Jewish writers say the same; and though this is not expressly stated in the Old Testament, his age at death, one hundred twenty years ( Deuteronomy 34:7 ), agrees with it. 7:42-50 Stephen upbraids the Jews with the idolatry of their fathers, to which God gave them up as a punishment for their early forsaking him. Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. Stephen offered up two short prayers in his dying moments. This Jesus, whom they now refused, as their fathers did Moses, even this same has God advanced to be a Prince and Saviour. And why here? Stephen's defence. DEFENSE AND MARTYRDOM OF STEPHEN. 39. All rights reserved. . . In Acts 7:23 Acts 7:30 Acts 7:36, the life of Moses is represented as embracing three periods, of forty years each; the Jewish writers say the same; and though this is not expressly stated in the Old Testament, his age at death, one hundred twenty years ( Deuteronomy 34:7), agrees with it. As the sight was witnessed by Stephen alone, the opened heavens are to be viewed as revealed to his bright beaming spirit. He was wonderfully preserved in his infancy; for God will take special care of those of whom he designs to make special use. 7:1-16 Stephen was charged as a blasphemer of God, and an apostate from the church; therefore he shows that he is a son of Abraham, and values himself on it. He appeared to Moses in a flame of fire, yet the bush was not consumed; which represented the state of Israel in Egypt, where, though they were in the fire of affliction, yet they were not consumed. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 4. unto the days of David--for till then Jerusalem continued in the hands of the Jebusites. All rights reserved. Here is a prayer for his persecutors. at a young man's feet whose name was Saul--How thrilling is this our first introduction to one to whom Christianity--whether as developed in the New Testament or as established in the world--owes more perhaps than to all the other apostles together! The death of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, cannot break the covenant relation between God and them. It does not at all take from the just honour of Moses to say, that he was but an instrument, and that he is infinitely outshone by Jesus. Chapter 7. 44. in their hearts turned back . of His calling shows the power and freeness of Divine grace, and the nature of conversion. (54-60). Lord Jesus, receive my spirit--In presenting to Jesus the identical prayer which He Himself had on the cross offered to His Father, Stephen renders to his glorified Lord absolute divine worship, in the most sublime form, and at the most solemn moment of his life. and the witnesses--whose hands were to be first upon the criminal ( Deuteronomy 17:7 ). And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Here he is, having perhaps already a seat in the Sanhedrim, some thirty years of age, in the thick of this tumultuous murder of a distinguished witness for Christ, not only "consenting unto his death" ( Acts 8:1 ), but doing his own part of the dark deed. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord. Stephen offered up two short prayers in his dying moments. "But how could Stephen, in the council-chamber, see heaven at all? But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt. . Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. A prophet . Stephen reminds the Jews of their mean beginning as a check to priding themselves in the glories of that nation. Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin. Suffering times often are growing times with the church. God owned Joseph in his troubles, and was with him by the power of his Spirit, both on his own mind by giving him comfort, and on those he was concerned with, by giving him favour in their eyes. and Jesus standing on the right hand of God--Why "standing," and not sitting, the posture in which the glorified Saviour is elsewhere represented? And if this has been our care while we live, it will be our comfort when we die. Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. 25, &c, 39, &c; Acts 7:25,39 have despised the land, ver. But as heaven is his throne, and the earth his footstool, so none of our services can profit Him who made all things.
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